Summer camp, in particular Camp Minikani in Hubertus, WI, played a huge role in my childhood/young adulthood. Outside of my family, camp was the primary influence in my adolescent years. It is no exaggeration to say that attending (and eventually working at) camp was life-changing for me. Attending summer camp has always been a gift I have been eager to give my children.
This year marked Harper's third summer at the camp of my childhood. When she was 10 she attended a week of day camp. Last year, at 11, she attended one week of overnight camp. This year she went overnight for two full weeks. We pick her up tomorrow and I am jumping out of my skin.
|Outside her two-week summer home.|
I am 99% not worried about Harper at camp. My 1% of concern comes from the fact that it is not a completely nut-free environment, though it's as close as just about any other public place she frequents; and a little from the fact that girls can be mean. Since we drive from Ohio for Harper to attend camp in Wisconsin, she does not attend with any of her friends from school or dance. Now you would be hard-pressed to find anyone who is more of a friendship-building expert than a well-trained camp counselor, which Minikani has in abundance. Yet I also know that, despite the best efforts of caring counselors, there are sometimes kids who just don't connect with other kids. Harper is not usually that child, but you never know.
Two weeks is a long time to not know what your child is doing or how she/he is feeling. Matt received two brief notes from Harper. In the second note she said she cried when the one-week campers left (including a girl she became friends with last summer) and that she missed us, but was excited for the next week of camp. She's probably fine. She's probably better than fine. But, ugh, the line about crying when her friends left made my heart hurt for her. I really hope she's also made some friends in her cabin - all of them are staying for both weeks.
Tomorrow morning Michael and I will pick her up and I'll get to hear all about it. Maybe camp won't turn out to be the magical place for her that it was for me and that will be ok. But I can't help but hope that she's had a great two weeks and has been too busy having fun to write and tell me about it.